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Friday, June 20, 2014
ACC mailblog

By Andrea Adelson

Howdy!

Ramon in San Francisco, Calif., writes: Just saw the Position U rankings, and I really can't believe Miami isn't even in the top 3 for HBU. Clinton Portis (9,923 NFL yards), Frank Gore (9,967), Willis McGahee (8,474) alone are enough to put Miami ahead of everyone else. Then you add in James Jackson (third round), (Najeh) Davenport (fourth round), (Lamar) Miller (fourth), and (Mike) James (sixth). And that's not even adding Edgerrin James, Miami's greatest running back ever because he was drafted fourth overall in 99, OR Duke Johnson. Let's see if Miami gets snubbed from AT LEAST top 3 for DBU and LBU also. If there is a Safety U and it's not Miami, please don't even post it to the blog.

Andrea Adelson: I admit, on first glance I figured for sure Miami would be on the Position U running back list based on Portis, Gore and McGahee alone. But the folks who put together the rankings (I was not in that group) used a formula to come up with a points system. NFL yards did not factor into the formula at all. Points were awarded for specific collegiate awards won, consensus All-American status, all-conference selections and where players were drafted. They only went back to 2000, which is why Edgerrin James is not included. There is no denying Miami has had a tremendous group of running backs, but given the criteria laid out, the Hurricanes finished outside the Top 10 with 56 points. Miami ranked No. 4 on the linebacker list and No. 4 on the defensive backs list. Keep in mind, Miami had immense talent at these three positions in the early to mid-2000s, but fell off when the wins began to dip. Miami has had only three first-round picks at these three positions since 2007.


Harry Harrison in Mililani Mauka, Hawaii, writes: Enjoyed your article on Clemson being the No. 2 recruiting class. But my view is FFR HELPED Clemson and was not a negative, as you imply. Two reasons: 1. Most recruits have family support of some kind. Sitting their with mom, dad & grandma, what pitch you think works best? Send your son to the school known for thieves and alleged rapists or here where we, within the law, help your son mature to a man. 2. The "Chick-fil-A" syndrome: Attack faith and people of faith quietly fight back and join in defending others under attack.

Adelson: Harry, thanks for your perspective on the topic. Your point of view makes a lot of sense to me. While the merits of the complaint were being debated, I often wondered whether recruits even cared about the accusations made against Dabo Swinney. There are many players who have said they chose Clemson because Swinney is a man of faith. I am sure that remains the case.


Neale Monte in Plantation, Fla., writes: Read your article about QB (Jake) Heaps transferring from KU to UM. I know you said he sat out one year after transferring from BYU to KU. So, because he sat out one year, he doesn't have to sit out again with this transfer? So you are saying the NCAA only prescribes sitting out one year after first transfer and then no sitting out if there are additional transfers? Did UM recruit him? How does that work? I'm reading the article and thinking every time he doesn't get his way, he transfers! Is he any good, in your opinion?

Adelson writes: Heaps graduated from Kansas, so he is eligible to play immediately at Miami as a graduate transfer student. The rules are different when you transfer early in your career without a degree. Tom Savage, for example, transferred to Arizona and sat out a year, then transferred to Pitt and sat out another year because he had not yet graduated. Is Heaps any good? He has struggled everywhere he has been. Back in 2011, BYU tailored its offense for Heaps to lead him, and he still got benched in favor of a player with far less athletic skills than he possesses.


Andy in Cincinnati writes: As much as I hate Duke, I enjoyed your piece on Derek Jones. But what I am writing about is all this coverage on Jake Heaps. You're telling me that a guy who was marginal at BYU, a team with a *less than strong schedule,* and who couldn't even hold hold on to a starting job at terrible, terrible Kansas, has the "potential" to do well at Miami? A school that will be playing Florida State, Nebraska, Carolina and Virginia Tech and has talent to boot. Why are we even talking about him? He's already had two chances -- why is Miami giving him another? No one's high school resume is good enough to justify that.

Adelson writes: Thanks for the praise, Andy. I am glad you enjoyed the Jones story. As for Heaps, I believe I said he had potential out of high school. I thought what I wrote was fairly to the point. Miami signed him because they are desperate for experienced quarterbacks on the roster while Ryan Williams continues to rehab his torn ACL. Kevin Olsen was not even close to Williams during spring ball, so I think there is some trepidation about handing over the keys to the quarterback spot until Williams gets back. An experienced player such as Heaps can at least help with his game experience, even if that means pushing Olsen more in practice. Plus, quarterbacks with strong arms always get an opportunity to prove themselves over and over. Look at the NFL draft process every year. Quarterbacks who have strong arms, whether they have proven themselves in college or not, generally get the benefit of the doubt.